28 August 2010

Grief is Permitted

Facing Grief: Counsel For MournersI've been reading John Flavel's Facing Grief and have found it to be an excellent read. Its thrust is counsel to those have have lost their loved ones and is based on Luke 7:13. The counsel to the reader is insightful and can be applied to any kind of grief we encounter. Permit me to highlight chapter three, Sorrow Permitted to Christian Mourners:

1. The afflicted must be allowed an awakened and tender sense of the Lord's afflicting hand.
2. We must allow the mourning, afflicted soul a due and comely expression of his grief and sorrow in his complaints both to God and men.
3.The afflicted person may (ordinarily) accuse, judge, and condemn himself, for being the cause and procurer of his own troubles.
4. The afflicted Christian may, in a humble, submissive manner, plead with God, and be earnest for the removal of his affliction.

This is one of the best little books to come from Banner of Truth this year. If you're grieving, this may help.

More on this great little tome later...

25 August 2010

23 August 2010

A Threefold Blessing

The last sermon in our series on Thessalonians. This sermon includes a simply outstanding explication of the peace of Christ

22 August 2010

King James Who? - God

Ok, I'm bragging a bit - this billboard is my son-in law's work. But I do heartily applaud his church's efforts to advance the Gospel. Great work Neo Church.

21 August 2010

The Gospel or Race?

The World Council of Churches will be meeting here in Cleveland next week. Sadly, it will not be to discuss the Gospel but rather race issues.  Race issues certainly are important but is not the Gospel more so? The issues of race will seemingly always be with us but our time is short to reach many with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What a collossal waste when so many are dying in their sins. It certainly demonstrates the course the WCC has taken and it's wrong-headed focus on issues. May we all look inwardly at our motives and goals and realign them to a Biblical standard of life and work. Our time is short.

How We Spend Our Time

How do we spend our time? Technology has invented incredible time-savers for us yet we have less time than we ever have had before. Carl Trueman correctly weighs in here on this issue. As for what we should be doing I particulary appreciated, ...drinking beer with friends is perhaps the most underestimated of all Reformation insights and essential to ongoing reform... Enjoy.

17 August 2010

Working for Christ

Fantastic sermon on idleness and the necessity of work.

Idleness is a grevious sin.

Why? Four reasons:

1. It fails to fulfill the creation mandate
2. It deprives others of our productivity - it is theft
3. It exposes one to the Devil's temptations
4. It is contrary to the example of Jesus Christ

To be learned:
1. Don't take idleness lightly
2. Don't be idle in spiritual things
3. Work hard at whatever God has given you to do

13 August 2010

On Being an Introvert

Adam McHugh's blog on introversion is always an enjoyable read as was his book. His post yesterday was especially thoughtful. In part he states, From a neurological point of view, introverts have more brain activity and brain blood flow than extroverts, and we have less tolerance for the dopamine that is released from social interactions and activity. So in many cases it actually may be more pleasurable - in terms of the good feelings released in the brain - for us to be alone or at home than it is for us to be at a party or a church activity. In other words, we are more motivated to be alone than to be in a crowd. It's not that we don't like people or are anti-social or standoffish, it's that it actually feels better for us to be alone sometimes. Reading a book on a Friday night may feel better than a night out with friends, especially when we have spent the week in a socially charged atmosphere at work. You see, it's not that we don't like people or that we're naval-gazers, we just don't get our energy from being around others. Rather, we recharge our internal batteries by being alone and pursuing whatever our sometimes overly active brains would have for us to cogitate upon. Read the rest of Adam's thoughtful post here and think about all of your introverted friends. His last paragraph is particularly discerning. Let me know what you think.

Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture

12 August 2010

God is Faithful


I've been offline for the last five days thanks to a downed landline that took AT&T five days to repair. But, we're back up and running. New posts to come soon.

06 August 2010

Trueman on Reading Thomas

His constructive theological work (particularly Summa Theologiae Part One) lays the groundwork for much of what is later incorporated into Reformed understandings of God. Did you know that about Thomas Aquinas? Sure we disagree with him in many areas but there is much to be admired. Read more here from Carl Trueman.

03 August 2010

Ryle on Prayer

Recently I was thinking about prayer and how often I neglect the privilege when I came across this quote from J.C. Ryle:

...Sermons and books and tracts, and committee meetings and the company of good men, are all good in their way, but they will never make up for the neglect of private prayer. Mark well the places and society and companions that unhinge your hearts for communion with God and make your prayers drive heavily. There be on your guard. Observe narrowly what friends and what employments leave your soul in the most spiritual frame, and most ready to speak with God. To these cleave and stick fast. If you will take care of your prayers, nothing shall go very wrong with your soul. (From A Call to Prayer by J.C. Ryle.)

What a remarkable statement. In some ways it is most obvious. But, let's face it, it is what we all do. We let the busyness of life get in the way of communion with the Life-Giver. Prayer is too often neglected. It is time to remove those things that so easily unhinge our hearts for communion with God.

A Call to Prayer